March 11, 2013 - Middelheim Museum - Antony Gormley
March 11, 2013

Antony Gormley

Antony Gormley, Firmament lll (detail), 2009. © Middelheim Museum. Photo: Joris Casaer.

Antony Gormley
Firmament and Other Forms
24 February–5 May 2013
Exhibition pavilion Het Huis (The House)

Middelheim Museum
Middelheimlaan 61
2020 Antwerp – Belgium

T +32 (0)3 288 33 60
F +32 (0)3 288 33 99
middelheimmuseum [​at​]

Firmament and Other Forms in Het Huis
In 2012, the Middelheim Museum received the donation of Firmament lll, a major work of art by Antony Gormley (b. 1950, United Kingdom) from the artist’s gallery, the Brussels-based Xavier Hufkens. The work is displayed at a unique location in the oldest section of the open-air museum next to the main entrance. The work can now be seen on a permanent basis. Firmament III (2009) is an irregular three-dimensional net surrounding a human-shaped void approximately ten times life-size. This work will pick up the light of the changing seasons and be a constant invitation to the visitor to consider his or her place in the order of things.

To highlight this extraordinary acquisition, a series of Gormley’s ‘polyhedra’ sculptures—never before exhibited as a collection—will be on display in the new exhibition pavilion Het Huis (The House), from 24 February until 5 May 2013. In the words of the artist: “This exhibition questions the human body’s attachment to architecture and investigates the place of the human body within the wider frame of things and worlds. All the works are based on the ‘bubble-matrix’; a random, but consistent geometry found in nature which also forms the structural syntax of Firmament III.”

For almost forty years Antony Gormley has been exploring the relationship between the body and the space that surrounds it. He always uses his own body as a test site. This can be taken literally: he frequently casts his sculptures from his own body. What interests the artist is not only the aesthetic, but also the human aspect of the form: the person as an individual, as a member of the collective and as an object in relation to space and the natural world.

Along with the opening of Firmament and Other Forms by Antony Gormley, the Middelheim Museum is launching a brand new collection of publications that will from now on be released on the occasion of temporary exhibitions in the open-air museum.

Middelheim 2012
The Middelheim Museum is constantly in motion, but in 2012 the Museum and its collection underwent a major metamorphosis. The renovated Middelheim Museum reopened for the public on 26 and 27 May 2012. The metamorphosis was complete: the grounds of the museum were extended considerably and the museum infrastructure was modernised. For this, the Middelheim Museum worked in tandem with the guest curator Paul Robbrecht (b. 1950, Belgium).

Robbrecht and Daem built a semi-open pavilion, Het Huis (The House), which was inaugurated with a prestigious exhibition of the works of Thomas Schütte (b. 1954, Germany). The entire Middelheim collection was revisited, and renowned artists such as Ai Weiwei (b. 1957, China), Roman Signer (b. 1938, Switzerland) and Philippe Van Snick (b. 1946, Belgium) created new works custom-made for the museum. In the Braem Pavilion, fashion designers Bernhard Willhelm (b. 1972, Germany) and Jutta Kraus (b. 1972, Germany) put on show an initial selection of pieces of international importance from the Middelheim collection that are too fragile to be displayed outside.

The open-air museum is now organising three exhibitions each year. The epicentre of these exhibitions is Het Huis, though they may expand into the flower garden or even throughout the entire museum. The summer exhibition will remain the major attraction, though the spring and autumn exhibitions will also be important occasions featuring interesting projects from international contemporary artists. The  Braem Pavilion will feature two collections each year. Visitors will have the opportunity to discover and rediscover pieces of international importance from the Middelheim collection. These are works that have been purchased especially for the Braem Pavilion or that are too fragile to be displayed outside.

Catalogue Antony Gormley. Firmament and Other Forms
Bilingual Dutch/English publication
With texts by Antony Gormley, Frank Maes and Sara Weyns
With photographs of the works in situ

Open Tuesday–Sunday
Hours: October–March 10am–5pm / April and September 10am–7pm / May and August 10am–8pm / June and July 10am–9pm / Closed on Mondays, 1 January, 1 May, Ascension Day, 1 November and 25 December / Open exceptionally on Easter Monday and Whit Monday
Entrance: Free

Antony Gormley at Middelheim Museum, Antwerp
Middelheim Museum
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